Some Good News About North Carolina’s HB2

On Wednesday’s Brad & Britt Podcast, we discussed a story about Braeburn Pharma deciding against cancelling an expansion in the state. From the article:

In the company’s statement, Sheldon said that she elected to keep the company in North Carolina after meeting with Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who urged Braeburn to stay in the state and fight discrimination.

“The Attorney General argued that Braeburn could help more by advocating from within North Carolina than by protesting through departure,” the statement said

This indicates good news for North Carolinians who have been fighting HB2 for two months. Business leaders may get the message that they can talk to someone other than the governor for reassurance. This could mean that some business leaders don’t have confidence that McCrory will be North Carolina’s governor next year (Cooper is mounting a stiff challenge and is the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s top office)

The state had previously enjoyed a progressive, pro-business reputation going back decades to leadership provided by governors like Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt. It is difficult to gauge the exact economic impact from HB2, but multiple stories have told stories of companies cancelling plans to come to North Carolina and organizations cancelling plans to hold gatherings in the state

In the next six months, Cooper and McCrory will mount a vigorous campaign for the office. Cooper will be able to tout the fact that Braeburn was given comfort by him at a time when the chips were down. This could be very helpful in reaching out to traditionally Republican voters and independent voters, who may not be engaged on LGBT issues, but are concerned about the negative economic impact of HB2. This will be key to Cooper’s campaign if he is to get beyond the Liberal vs. Conservative paradigm

This could amount to a “lack of confidence” vote from the business community for McCrory, which could mean bad news for the governor in November

NC’s General Assembly: The Week Ahead

Amid much strife and controversy over North Carolina’s so-called “Bathroom Bill”, our General Assembly will be back in session doing The Work of the People™ this week. Let’s look in our crystal ball and see what we can expect from this group of exceptional public servants

MONDAY, APRIL 25: President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate Phil Berger, Sr. (R-Tidy Bowl) introduces a bill setting aside $12.9 million for construction of a giant banner that says “F–k You Obama!” that will stretch from Hickory to Wilson and will be visible from space. When a reporter challenges Berger and calls the act “nakedly political”, Berger responds that tourists will come from miles around to see the banner and their revenue will replace revenue from the “dirty hippies who come to wallow in the filth of The People’s Republic of Asheville”

Meanwhile, Governor McCrory is said to be sitting in a quiet room, weeping softly as he watches “Sleepless in Seattle” and eats Ben and Jerry’s Blue Bell Ice Cream™. After some investigation, it turns out the ice cream was a gift from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who sent it to McCrory after some companies thinking about relocating to North Carolina did and about face and went to Texas, instead

TUESDAY, APRIL 26: In a fit of pique, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Saniflush) nearly beats a page to death after someone puts a “Pecker Checker” badge in Moore’s bathroom. Declaring “If someone doesn’t take the blame for this, I will end this boy’s life”, Moore holds up the page’s nearly lifeless body as his phone rings. Someone has programmed “Born in the USA” as Moore’s ring tone, which sets him into an entirely new fit of absolute rage. Before State Troopers can separate him from the page, Mr. Moore can be heard shouting “KING KONG AIN’T GOT S–T ON ME!”. Troopers then tase him and he loses consciousness

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27: House and Senate Republicans propose a law outlawing any radio station in North Carolina from playing the music of the rock group Pearl Jam. A reporter suggests that Republicans are simply proposing the ban because Pearl Jam cancelled an April 20th show in Raleigh, citing their opposition to HB2. Speaker Moore calls the band’s fans “socialist wieners” and states that “their 90s nostalgia is really getting in the way of our 80s nostalgia”

Meanwhile, Governor McCrory is feeling well enough to get lunch at a Subway™ on Fayetteville Street. When someone pulls out an iPhone to record him, the governor shrieks, declares the device to be “a tool of the devil” and sprints down the streets of Raleigh back to the Governor’s Mansion

THURSDAY, APRIL 28: After Attorney General Roy Cooper condemns a Republican proposal to ban Bruce Springsteen “or any non Duke-related New Jerseyite” from traveling to North Carolina, Berger and Moore attempt to extract Cooper from his office physically. Cooper is able to keep the duo at bay by flashing a picture of Caitlyn Jenner to the men via his phone. This has the effect of garlic to vampires and the men run from Cooper’s office, hissing and gasping for air

Meanwhile, House and Senate Republicans introduce bills banning “German porn”, and allocating $6 million for a study of the 1992 film “The Crying Game”

FRIDAY, APRIL 29: Governor McCrory is remanded for psychological evaluation after being pulled over doing 100 mph in Petersburg, VA. Authorities believe he was traveling to the DC area to do harm to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. McCrory’s wife tipped off the authorities after discovering e-mails detailing the governor’s failed attempts to hire a hit man through Craig’s List. Ironically, even killers-for-hire were morally opposed to doing business with McCrory

At arraignment, a judge politely refuses the governor’s request for a “private commode”

Pat McCory’s Poll Numbers: Worse Than You Think

Many people are talking about the new Elon University poll, showing Governor McCrory trailing trailing Attorney General Roy Cooper 48-42 (with a 4% margin of error) ahead of their November showdown. Matthew Winkler of Bloomberg is scratching his head because Pat’s commitment to HB2 has hindered his ability to tell the “Carolina Comeback” story. SLOW DOWN, MATTHEW! Even before McCrory signed the “Bathroom Bill” into law, he was a fairly unpopular governor, who faced stiff competition from a seasoned, organized foe. With Donald Trump on top of the ticket, the uphill climb would probably be too great. With Ted Cruz, still tough, but doable

When you go back in history and examine North Carolina’s gubernatorial races, you see that the bad news is even more profound for McCrory. Since 1980, incumbent governors have run for re-election four times (winning all four contests) and they averaged 57.25% of the statewide vote. Even if we take away Jim Hunt’s gaudy numbers (62% in 1980 and 56% in 1996), we get to a level of support that’s 55.5%. Even if we give McCrory all four points in the margin of error, that only gets him to 46%, which is a little less than Richard Vinroot did in 2000 against Mike Easley, but a little better than Patrick Ballantine did against Easley four years later (Jim Martin’s 55% is the worst performance by an incumbent since 1980)

But, what is the absolute floor for Pat McCrory in November? It’s a safe bet that he’ll outperform Beverly Lake’s 37% in 1980.If we throw that one out, the second-place finisher in North Carolina has done no better than 43% (which was what McCrory’s challenger Walter Dalton earned in 2012). But, remember, those were all non incumbents, who faced major obstacles in terms of basic resources like name recognition. Jim Gardner in 1992 and Robin Hayes in 1996 both were fairly well-known to followers of state politics, but they didn’t have the name recognition of Jim Hunt. That’s probably why each garnered only 43% of the vote

The Cooper campaign must be ecstatic. Cooper has floated around Raleigh for a while, but he doesn’t have the name recognition of Pat McCrory, who was fairly well-known as Mayor of Charlotte before mounting a losing then a winning campaign for governor

Curiously, North Carolina’s gubernatorial races haven’t been terribly close in the past 36 years, with the exception of McCory’s losing effort, a 50-47 affair in 2008

Of course, there’s a lot of ground to cover until November and many factors simply can’s be accounted for. North Carolina’s Voter ID law will be in effect for the first time in a general election. These laws have traditionally knocked a couple of points off of Democratic totals. We also don’t know who will be on top of the Republican ticket come November. Political experts say that a Trump nomination could depress GOP turnout. A Cruz nomination would only be a little more helpful to McCrory. And, of course, any number of catastrophic events could change the election. But, still, Cooper’s got to be happy about his standing six months ’til judgment day

It remains to be seen if a repeal of HB2 would help McCrory much. At this point, the damage may already be done. But, before we get too cocky about Roy Cooper’s chances, remember a North Carolina incumbent governor hasn’t been defeated since 1892…which is a tad misleading because the position was a one (term) and done proposition until the state constitution was amended, allowing Hunt to run for a second term in ’80

Beating an incumbent is never an easy task and the Cooper campaign would probably be happy with a neck-and-neck performance, at this point. As it is, they’re ahead of the game. But, we’ve got a lot of game left to be played

A Thousand Words

 

Photo credit: Mark Binker, WRAL.com (twitter.com/binker)
Photo credit: Mark Binker, WRAL.com (twitter.com/binker)

What you see above is a man who finally understands that his empire is crumbling. We’ve been given few glimpses in history to the exact moment that someone realizes it’s over. Governor Pat McCrory finally realized he had followed a path of doom around 1:30 pm on April 19th, 2016. That’s when he was informed that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against barring Gavin Grimm, who was born a woman, but identifies as a man, from using the men’s restroom. Legal experts say that the ruling puts North Carolina’s controversial HB2 out of commission

Maxine Eichner, a University of North Carolina law professor who is an expert on sexual orientation and the law, said the ruling — the first of its kind by a federal appeals court — means the provision of North Carolina’s law pertaining to restroom use by transgender students in schools that receive federal funds also is invalid

“The effects of this decision on North Carolina are clear,” she said, adding that a judge in that state will have no choice but to apply the appeals court’s ruling

Already, some are comparing the McCrory pic to this

Andy Card tells President Bush America has been attacked
Andy Card tells President Bush America has been attacked

Shortly after 9:00 am on September 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush was told by Chief-of-Staff Andrew Card that planes has crashed into the World Trade Center. That wasn’t the photo that struck me when I saw McCory’s moment. This one was

Y.A. Tittle

That is Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle, photographed on September 20, 1964 as a member of the New York Giants, after being hit by John Baker of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the old Pitt Stadium. Tittle suffered a concussion and a cracked sternum on the play. He would play the rest of the season, but the once-mighty Giants finished with worst record in the league. In 1963, he threw 36 TD passes (a record that stood until Dan Marino broke it in 1984) and earned MVP honors. The next year, he was done

The photo became one of the most celebrated sports photographs of the entire 20th century. It captured a celebrated athlete at a moment of vulnerability, at a time when sports media portrayed football players as masked gladiators, conquering any obstacle they pleased. Humanity wasn’t part of the equation in 1964. Tittle would be tagged as “weak” and “helpless” for many year thanks to his moment captured in time

Ironically, the photo was beneficial to Baker, who used it when he ran for Sheriff of Wake County, NC (where he was born and raised) in 1978. He won and served for 25 years. Wake County is where Pat McCrory lives…for a little while longer

It was only yesterday that the fresh-faced former Mayor Pat took the oath-of-office and became the monstrous Governor Pat. Currently, North Carolina is a national punchline and McCrory shoulders a large portion of the blame. He continues to squawk that his solutions are “common sense”. He goes on television with a smile that’s so forced that it’s surely been applied with a sandblaster. Mr. Binker’s picture is a true glimpse inside McCrory’s soul. The consultants are far away and he’s trapped with his own thoughts. The neurons fire rapidly and he searches for the moment it all went wrong

Back to our friend, Mr. Tittle: He finally learned to embrace that awful photo. In 2009, he put it on the back cover of his autobiography. He told the Los Angeles Times

That was the end of my road. It was the end of my dream. It was over

Pat McCrory has just awoken from his dream. Let’s hope North Carolina is about to awake from it’s nightmare

 

Thank You Pearl Jam

At about 11:15 pm on August 6, 2000, I fell in love

It happened at the Greensboro Coliseum on the occasion of my 30th birthday. Pearl Jam was playing and Eddie spotted a kid close to the stage. He said something like this

I’ve been looking at this kid up front and he’s recording the show. And I don’t have a problem with that. I really don’t. It’s just that we’re about to play a romantic one and I wanted you to be able to dance with your girl. I just wanted to put your tape recorder up here on stage, so you can get a better sound

He then put the kid’s tape recorder by the onstage monitors and the band launched into their cover of “Last Kiss”. At that moment, I knew I would love that band for the rest of my life

Saturday night, before the show in Greenville, SC, my buddy Scott, who I went to high school with, asked me if he thought they would cancel Wednesday’s show in Raleigh. I told him that I was pretty confident if they were going to cancel, they would have already sone it

I hadn’t factored in a disastrous performance by Pat McCrory (R-Hamlet NC) on Sunday’s “Meet The Press”

Pretty sure that Pat’s appearance sealed the deal and rendered this Screenshot_2016-04-18-18-25-48-1

useless as PJ cancelled Raleigh on Monday

Their official statement:

It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.

This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.

We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.

In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.

Perhaps even celebrate.

With immense gratitude for your understanding,

Pearl Jam

 

I don’t know if I’ve been prouder of this band

Make no mistake, I wish they would have made this decision last week or the week before, but what they said here is huge and makes a massive statement. Springsteen has always been a hero to Eddie, so it’s no surprise that he followed the lead of The Boss

I am ashamed of the leadership of my state. They have turned this place I loved into a place I barely recognize. North Carolinians were never people who were fearful or suspicious of each other. We never went out of our way to make people who were different feel strange. We accepted people who weren’t the same with open arms. It’s all changed now. My family has North Carolina roots going back a century and a half. If not seeing Pearl Jam once is enough to wake people up and give me my state back, I’m all for it

This really sucks for the fans because Pearl Jam hasn’t played Raleigh in 13 years. In fact, since a John Kerry fundraiser in Asheville in ’04, the band has only performed one North Carolina show (Charlotte, ’13)

As I watched a tremendous show in Greenville on Saturday, I became emotional thinking about what awaited me Wednesday. I felt that Eddie had made his decision and he would surely roll out an old chestnut from the Bush days. At that point, PJ was quite adamant about their opposition to the Iraq War and they started playing the old protest song “Here’s to the State of Mississippi” by Phil Ochs at their shows

It is a sad, mournful, despairing tune that pleads for those who have done damage to our country to get out. PJ’s version changed the lyrics to reflect Bush, Cheney, etc.

I closed my eyes Saturday and imagined how Eddie might lay into North Carolina by changing the lyrics on Wednesday and I got pretty emotional just thinking about it. Mississippi was shorthand to a generation of Americans for everything that was wrong about this great country. To think that North Carolina has become the modern-day Mississippi for LGBT folks, hurts me deeply. We can tell these people that we don’t support HB2 all we want, but it’s still a law and it’s still a North Carolina law

There’s a part of me that hoped Eddie would sing these hard truths to us on Wednesday, but I’m not certain I would have been able to bear it

God has richly blessed me in my life in so many ways. God has seen fit that I should attend 11 Pearl Jam shows, each unique memories I will carry for me to the grave. I hope the Lord makes it so that I can see my favorite band a 12th time one day. But, my greater hope is that He lets me see the day when I get my state back

Interview: NC Senator Dan Blue (D) On NC’s HB2

Brad and Britt spoke with NC state Senator Dan Blue (D) about North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, the so-called “Bathroom Bill”. Blue detailed the special session of the General Assembly that took place in March and how Democrats were completely shut out of any discussion about HB2

Blue went on to detail the economic damage done to the state, including the cancellation of a PayPal operations center in Charlotte, which would have provided about 400 jobs. Deutsche Bank, Red Hat, and many others have decided against planned expansions in North Carolina. Additionally, Charlotte and Raleigh have both reported several conventions or gatherings that have either cancelled or said they will not consider coming to the state, costing North Carolinians millions in hotel tax revenues, restaurant revenue, and related revenues

Blue stated that it was his hope that Governor McCrory and Republican leaders will see the light and repeal HB2 so that North Carolina’s image can recover nationally. Brad and Britt bring up the fact that tourism season in the state is just beginning and many NC families rely on tourism to put bread on the table. A tourism boycott could severely hurt North Carolina families. Additionally, North Carolina agriculture is a $70 billion a year industry that could suffer from a boycott

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Summer Winds Blow Cold in North Carolina

Every schoolboy knows the story of the Roman Emperor Nero, who famously fiddled (allegedly) while Rome burned. Turns out, it was a fire that Nero started himself, historians say, to clear land for a palatial expansion. In modern day North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory has carried on Nero’s tradition, watching as an economic brush fire he started by signing HB2 into law continues to sweep across the state. Quick! Someone mail him a violin

The announcement that PayPal would cancel its plans to build an operations center in Charlotte is only the beginning. The Washington Post compares HB2’s passage to The Religious Freedom Restoration Act that became law in Indiana last year and finds that North Carolina has much more to lose

The business community is largely on PayPal’s side on this, and it could be just the first of several major companies decide it’s not worth it to be involved with North Carolina anymore

Red Ventures has already said it’s reconsidering plans for expansion. But, let’s consider a “worst case” scenario: What is the maximum damage that HB2 reactions could do to the North Carolina economy? Truth is, the sky is the limit

Take, for example, the tourism industry. Domestic tourists spent more than $20 billion in North Carolina in 2013 and the most recent data says that nearly 200,000 jobs are supported by tourism dollars. While no one expects people to cancel beach or mountain trips en masse many of these businesses are “mom-and-pops” that can suffer great damage from a boycott that results in a loss of even five or ten percent of their revenue. For many tourism-related businesses in North Carolina, ten percent can mean the difference between paying the bills or heading to the bank to borrow money to cover those bills (and even worse if borrowing isn’t an option). Many of these businesses already have exposure to inherent risks (hurricanes, for example) and don’t need anything else taking money out of their pockets (potentially). Finally, many of these business owners are reliable Republican voters, so they’re likely to see damage inflicted on their bottom line by people they put in office

And what about North Carolina’s leading industry, agriculture? More than eight million acres of the state are dedicated to agriculture and many of these are family farms. North Carolina agriculture is a $70 billion a year business (greater than the entire GDP of The Dominican Republic). What would a boycott of North Carolina agriculture do? Again, many of these family farms are already dealing with razor-thin margins and a loss of even a few percentage points of revenue can mean the difference between keeping the farm or selling the farm. And, once again, many of these farm families have voted Republican for decades

So, there are a lot of families in North Carolina who are looking at the summer months with trepidation. The game changed for them on March 23rd due to no fault of their own. Most of these families don’t have the luxury of a PayPal or a Labcorp, to look down the line at long-term projections. They can’t look beyond the upcoming tourism season or harvest. All of that is in jeopardy

History tells us that old Nero eventually offed himself, becoming the first Roman emperor to take his own life. It remains to be seen if Pat McCrory committed political suicide when he signed HB2 into law. It also remains to be seen if the people who put him in office in 2012 will hand him the knife in 2016

 

McCrory Discovers Privacy

Republicans in North Carolina are in full “pushback” mode from criticism over the passage of HB2 last week. As the negative economic impact of the controversial law becomes clearer, Governor McCrory and other proponents have stepped up their p.r. game. Senator Phil Berger launched standwithmccrory.com to help supporters of HB2 network and express their thanks to the Governor McCrory. The website features this image

McCrory Bathroom

which turns North Carolina’s Chief Executive into “The Guardian of the Crapper”. I’m very interested in how they cast the creepy, lurking guy in the background. Was it a Craig’s List ad?:

Wanted: Creepy-looking, somewhat ethically ambiguous pseudo-Caucasian guy. Must look like the guy who spent a little too much time looking at your wee wee in the shower after 8th-grade gym. Also, must be a tad more sinister looking than the governor of the state of North Carolina

Also, it doesn’t help that they picked a shot of McCrory that looks like he’s straining as if to…well, you know

Another great “pushback’ initiative is this video, which looks like it was shot by a mid 40s dad, who was trying out his iPhone upgrade

Governor McCrory looks into the camera earnestly and appeals to North Carolinians to put away the rancorous politics and work for solutions to make HB2 better

  1. You created the rancor. This is sort of like the guy who cut one decrying the lack of air quality in the car. He who smelt it, dealt it, guv
  2. Why does it need to be fixed? You didn’t sign an unsustainable bill into law just for political gain, did you, Pat?

Previously, I looked at McCrory’s curious, consultant-driven use of language and I found an interesting tidbit in his 5-minute “Pushback Video”. He uses the phrase “expectation of privacy” three times, which I found very interesting. First, because I’ve never, personally, had much of an expectation of privacy when I use a public restroom. It has the word public right before the word restroom and that lets me know that, in many cases, people can walk in while I’m doing my business and they can see me in the throes of answering nature’s call. So, my “expectation of privacy” isn’t much

But, when I’m having a medical procedure done, that’s a different story

You see, Mr. McCrory signed a bill into law last year that would have some interesting consequences on women seeking abortions

The bill also requires doctors who perform abortions in which the fetus is older than 16 weeks to send an image of the ultrasound and other information to the state Department of Health and Human Services. No other state requires that

And, gosh, we know that stuff that’s sent to government entities never gets leaked to the public. And who knows who might see these images in the doctor’s office and as HHS. So, it seems, when it comes to privacy, Mr. McCrory’s concern ends at the urinal

But, hey, at least he’s not advocating that women who get an abortion be punished, like the (likely) guy at the top of the ballot. Well, at least, he isn’t yet

But, this wasn’t Pat’s first crack at putting restrictions on the procedure. In 2013, the state passed the infamous “Motorcyle Abortion” law, which made the agonizing, private decision of some women even more difficult. It may be difficult to remember this one, as it was many belly laughs ago, but it was one of the governor’s first forays into making the state he (allegedly) loves into a national punchline

You see, the word “privacy” has been, traditionally, a word that’s been used by pro-choice groups. While there is not an explicit “right to privacy”, the Supreme Court of the United States found that the Fourteenth Amendment, informed by the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments formed a de facto Right to Privacy in Roe v. Wade. I won’t bore you further with the legalize because we’re talking about language. Thus, the mantle of “privacy” has been carried as a banner by groups who advocate that abortion should be kept safe and legal. That is why it’s quite curious that an anti-choice governor like Pat McCrory should co-opt the language for his own purposes here

I expect that McCrory will continue down this path and claim that his vision advocates for a “freedom of choice”. The freedom to choose a urinal where you can be free from the prying eyes of some “creepy lurker” (see above pic) who just wants look at your willy. Something like that

It’s not that I dislike privacy, Pat. It’s just that I think a woman should have a greater expectation of it when she goes to the doctor than I do when I’m hitting the head at Applebee’s

 

Occasional Trump Dump 03/30/16

THE BIG NEWS: It was “Abortion Day” for DJT and he looked like even more of a buffoon than usual. The Republican frontrunner said initially that women should face some sort of punishment if the procedure were ever outlawed then changed his tune under a barrage of criticism. The Washington Post says this is yet another reason why DJT could be a disaster for the GOP

And, while Trump’s comments on abortion are the news of the day (and problem of the day for Republicans) what they expose is an even more troublesome reality if you are hoping to run and win as a Republican with Trump as the nominee: He is wildly and deeply unpredictable.

Today these comments on abortion. On Tuesday, a refusal to condemn a campaign manager charged with battery. On some other day a retweet of a white supremacist. Or a slam on Hillary Clinton’s looks. Or a fight with Pope Francis. Or a less-than-full throated dismissal of a violent incident at a rally.

You get the idea. The hardest thing to handle in the context of a political campaign is unpredictability. Trump not only is unpredictable to the nth degree but he also seems to revel in his willingness to say and do random stuff. If you are any Republican not named “Trump” who hopes to still be in the House or Senate come January 2017 that is a huge problem. Maybe even a YUGE problem

Make no mistake about it: The fight in North Carolina over the recently passed anti LGBT law is ALL about Trump (potentially) being on the top of the ticket in November. North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory and the Republicans, who only took control of state government for the first time sine the 19th century back in 2013, are scared stiff that Trump will have Republicans sitting this one out if Trump captures the party’s nomination. So, they need to fire up the conservative base and do so by stoking the fires of the social conservatives. Meanwhile, many companies have expressed deep reservations about the new law and the state stands to lose millions, perhaps billions of dollars. So, Mr. Trump is already having an effect

Meanwhile, it’s been a minute since we saw violence at a Trump rally, so here’s video of a protestor being pepper sprayed and slurred at a DJT event in Janesville, WI on Tuesday

The teenager said she was groped by a male in the crowd, then was pepper-sprayed by another individual after she pushed him away, according to a news release from the Janesville Police Department. A 19-year-old woman was also hit by second-hand pepper spray, police said.
Authorities are looking for one person in connection with the alleged sexual assault and another in connection with the pepper spray. Police released an image Wednesday of one individual in connection to the alleged incident, but they did not specify which alleged crime the person was possibly connected to
We’ll see if Mr. Trump provides a vigorous defense of the perpetrator despite video evidence a la the Corey Lewandowski excuses he offered earlier this week
Trump’s attorneys say he’s under continuous audit from the Internal Revenue Service. Shouldn’t they coordinate these stories better and have them come out closer to April 15th for maximum impact?
In the letter, released by the Trump campaign to demonstrate that the candidate is in fact under audit, Sheri Dillon and William Nelson wrote that Trump’s personal federal tax returns “have been under continuous examination by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002, consistent with the IRS’s practice for large and complex businesses.”
Sorry. Couldn’t type for a moment due to all the tears in my eyes. Is this crap really designed to appeal to the common man who understands what it’s like to be harassed by “out-of-control government” or some such nonsense?

Omar Maher couldn’t have been prouder Wednesday to become “a citizen of the No. 1 nation in the world,” even though one recent poll showed that half of his new countrymen support Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

“I am very bothered, but you can’t control the minds of everybody,” said the Egyptian-born Muslim engineer from Dublin. And besides, his 18-year-old daughter, Salma Maher, chimed in: “Trump doesn’t represent Americans, just like we don’t represent terrorists.”

WHEW! Somebody gets it. I’d rather live next door to Omar than DJT any day!

While the rest of America will be enjoying Wrestlemania™ on Sunday (an event DJT headlined back in 2007), The Donald will be attending his grandson’s bris

However, according to Jewish tradition, he cannot have the role of the “sandek,” the person, often a grandfather, who holds the child while it is being circumcised by a mohel (pronounced like “royal”). That job must go to a practicing Jew, said New York City-based Dr. Emily Blake, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist who now works full-time as a mohel.

“So unless he’s going to convert very quickly,” joked Blake, “I don’t think he’ll be doing it. He doesn’t want to lose that Christian vote.”

But, she says, he could perform the role of the “kvater,” the person who carries the baby into the room. “The rules on that are a little looser,” she said

OY!

Thomas Paine Had Common Sense, Pat. You’re Just a Jerk

We, the citizens, of North Carolina are in an unhealthy relationship with our Governor, Pat McCrory

It’s hard to say when things turned toxic. Maybe it was the whole “cookie incident”. Perhaps it was the whole “motorcycle abortion” thing. Could have been the whole coal ash fisaco. Whenever it happened, make no mistake about it, this is all-out bad blood

Take, for instance, last week’s passage of the infamous HB2, which has made North Carolina into a national laughingstock. This is how things work in bad relationships. We, the people of The Great State of North Carolina, gently bring up to Pat that, maybe passing such an idiotic law wasn’t the best thing and Pat responds with two simple words: YOU’RE CRAZY

Well, maybe not exactly, but, you see, Mr. McCrory has been brainwashed coached by political consultants to say the phrase “common sense” over and over again. He uses the phrase in this press release defending himself from media criticism of the law. He uses the phrase twice in 90 seconds in this video which, once again, blames the media (super original, guv). He used the “common sense” defense when he signed the controversial “Voter ID” law in North Carolina back in 2013

The message here is clear: If you oppose this, you’re crazy! Have you ever been in a relationship where someone responds to every critique by questioning your sanity? Why would you think I’m texting my ex? Are you crazy? Yes, I was three hours late, but you must be insane if you think I was with someone else. If you think I was having lunch with someone else, you must be out of your mind!

Of course, this is a technique of the most deranged liars and sociopaths. They make you seem like the odd one, when, in fact, they are doing things that defy logic. For example, needlessly creating an atmosphere where companies don’t feel especially comfortable doing business in North Carolina might be characterized as an act of someone who is, shall we say, less-than-sane

McCrory’s handlers have also made sure that he repeats New York Times, Washington Post, and Huffington Post when he cites the media offenders who are besmirching the good name of North Carolina. As a matter of fact, kudos to the wannabe Karl Rove who has hammered into the governor’s head that this particular attack on NC is an affront to the very honor of our state, suh! Let’s go back to the video of Pat being, oh so, offended

There’s a very well-coordinated campaign…a national campaign, which is distorting the truth, which is frankly smearing our state, in an inaccurate way

(is there a way to smear a state in an accurate way)

Ah declare, suh! They have sullied our good name and ah will not stand for it, suh!

Well, he may be a horrible governor, but he damn sure is coachable

If you oppose HB2, not only are you insane but you’re a traitor to North Carolina. Hell, you may as well break into The Skylight Inn and foul their delicious barbecue with a tanker full of Kraft™ Barbecue Sauce. You might as well walk into the Cheerwine™ plant in Salisbury and pee in a vat of that delicious nectar. You might as well paint a weiner on that statue of Andy and Opie

You get the idea

Control of the language is the last refuge of a scoundrel. If Pat McCrory had any record of achievement to run on he wouldn’t have to pull these propagandist tricks. But, I’ll assume his coaches will have him spouting all kinds of mind-controlling nonsense, which he’ll pay big bucks to have drummed into his brain, so he can repeat them to you and pepper your eardrums with shibboleths this summer and fall. And maybe it’ll work

As for me, I think voting Pat McCrory out of office is just using good old common sense